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Trillian whistle-blower Goodson reveals how firm made millions off SOEs

Parliamentarians have heard Trillian’s management consulting arm earned money by introducing international companies to state-owned enterprises.

FILE: Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Parliamentarians have heard Trillian’s management consulting arm earned money by introducing international companies to state-owned enterprises.

For this, the fledgeling firm made millions off parastatals like Eskom.

This was former Trillian employee turned whistle-blower, Bianca Goodson’s testimony in Parliament’s Eskom inquiry on Friday.

Between January and April 2016, Goodson served as CEO of Trillian Management Consulting (TMC), a newly-established company that had secured lucrative government deals early on.

“TMC’s business model was that work was secured through Essa's relationships and TMC benefits from these relationships through supply development agreements.”

The Public Enterprises portfolio committee heard that Trillian was set up to deal with public sector clients focusing on Transnet, Eskom and Minister Des van Rooyen’s Department of Cooperate Governance and Traditional Affairs.

“TMC secured the work and thereafter passed the work over to internationally recognised companies and acted as supply development partner of choice, with roughly 50% share of revenues. The companies that I was instructed to work with included McKinsey and Dubai-based firm Oliver Wyman.”

Until recently, Trillian Capital Partners was controlled by Gupta ally, Salim Essa, who has been identified as the key figure in securing government deals.

VAN ROOYSEN’S RELATIONSHIP WITH DUBAI FIRM

Members of Parliament (MPs) have been told Minister Des van Rooyen gave a Dubai consultancy the inside track on the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs so that it could craft a proposal to do work with the government.

Trillian Management Consultancy was a conduit in the proposed deal. This is according to Goodson.

Van Rooyen’s adviser Mohamed Bobat emerged as a key figure in this apparent arrangement.

“I had a relationship with Bobat. Bobat was a conduit to the minister.”

Goodson told MPs of a meeting in early 2016 in which Van Rooyen shared information with the directors of Oliver Wyman’s Dubai office.

She explained this was used to craft a business proposal.

“The minister mentioned that there were some opportunities that related to the Back to Basics programme. Oliver Wyman went back to Dubai, started drafting a proposal to address that need.”

Goodson resigned from her position at Trillian in April last year, so she doesn’t know the outcome of the proposal.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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